The best travel experience starts with a good research about the place to visit. Before going be sure to know a word or two of the local language, and yes, travel light; your baggage usually doubles in size with souvenirs by the time you’re ready to go home.
Get A Guidebook. I highly recommend Lonely Planet, Frommer’s and Fodor’s. Choose one that fits you best.
If you want to go the extra mile, learn a new language online for free. A good place to start is http://www.fodors.com/language/; check also this online tutorial http://www.learnalanguage.com/; useful info can also be found here http://www.omniglot.com/language/index.htm.
An alternative way to travel or part of your travel itinerary is joining a workcamp from a few days to three weeks depending on the project duration and description. It’s a fun way to know a place and it’s people (anywhere in the world) and it doesn’t cost much. For workcamps in Asia, click here. For workcamps in Europe and anywhere else in the world, click here.